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Sustainable Ag Lecture Series - Spring 2011

Each term, the Center for Sustainability hosts a free public lecture and/or event highlighting topics in sustainable agriculture, food or resource management.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

A Presentation by Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, USDA Deputy Secretary

Thursday, May 19
Chumash Auditorium


Dr. Kathleen Merrigan USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan visited Cal Poly on Thursday, May 19th as part of her national college tour promoting the USDAs Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative. Cal Poly was the twelfth and final visit of Deputy Secretary Merrigan's Know Your Farmer college tour for the spring 2011 semester. The ongoing tour will resume across the country this fall.

Dr. Merrigan is a noted authority on organic and sustainable agriculture. She was an author of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 which established the preliminary standards for organic food certification and labeling through the National Organic Program. She was also the first woman to chair the Ministerial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and was named one of Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People for 2010.

The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative aims to strengthen local and regional food systems by creating opportunities for local farmers, providing incentives for sustainable agricultural practices, and expanding consumer access to healthy agricultural products. Dr. Merrigan will be highlighting the USDAs programs in these areas and emphasizing the importance of involvement by todays students in these efforts.
Students
Dr. Merrigans took place from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Chumash Auditorium on the Cal Poly campus in the University Union and was preceded by a roundtable discussion with local community leaders regarding a new 'Hunger Free Communities' grant, which was received from USDA and will help identify areas of food insecurity in our region, and will lay the foundation for a local food policy council.

Dr. Merrigan has chronicled her experience during the tour in a USDA blog post.

Information concerning the 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative can be found on the USDA's website.